Not QUITE perfect? but so far his few accidents have been operator error (totally my fault)
there's been two ground breaking discoveries for me that you all probably already know and you're gonna nod your head and go "DUH!" but it finally clicked for me and Bax.
the first is food. when Bax gets fed the door to his room closes and it DOES NOT OPEN until he's been walked. Under no circumstances is he let out of my sight until he potties after he's eaten. This is nonnegotiable. If someone accidentally lets him out after he's eaten I have to IMMEDIATELY leap up, chase him down, and take him out because he is totally making a bee line for the couch leg.
the second (and more important) is his bladder. Bax is a saver. In days past I have complained bitterly about taking Bax out, watching him pee, and then bringing him in only to have him pee in the house fifteen min later. Wisely you all told me to leave him out longer. I argued that I could stand out there till I was blue in the face and he'd still be marking things. Well apparently I was right. How long does it take Bax to empty his bladder? About the length of a 1.7 mile walk. As we near the last house he'll do his final leg **** and either one or two drops will come out or nothing at all. He's defecated as much as four times on a 1.7 mile walk. No wonder a simple stroll around the house wasn't cutting it, this dog has been holding out on me! his capacity for bodily fluids is almost as astonishing as his sphincter control at stopping mid stream to save urine for later.
On an old style walk I'd take Bax around the house and he'd pee once or twice, maybe poo, and I'd consider it mission accomplished. Now I'm wiser. Bax doesn't leave his room until we've gone on our LONG walk and when he is COMPLETELY empty I will let him have the run of the house. once he's been emptied once for the day he seems to be pretty good with only going out for quick walks to wee once or twice and then come back inside. But he NEEDS to be fully emptied. COMPLETELY. AT LEAST ONCE.
Heaven help me when the snow flies......
EDIT: we do have one final pottying hurdle which is that he seems to be getting up in the middle of the night while i'm sleeping and weeing by the door (despite me taking him out for a walk immediately before bed.)
Share your experience and tell us how using positive reinforcement training methods has changed yours and your dogs' lives.
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